Homemade Hawaiian Huli Chicken

Best Places to Eat in Big Island Hawaii : Where Do Locals Eat on Kohala, Waimea and Hamakua Coasts

Being a local myself has its benefits. Of course I know all the eating spots throughout Hawaii. We truly know where the food is great just by word of mouth and reputation. Here is a list of some of the best places to eat in Big Island Hawaii featuring Hamakua coast.

I will share the top eateries on the Big Island from whole in the wall to gourmet dining. Trust me when comes to food this local guide knows where to go and where all us locals eat.

Hawaiian Island also known as the “Big Island” is the largest island of the Hawaiian chain. You can fit all of the other islands on this island by itself, that is why to us locals it is called the Big Island. 

I will stick to specific locations on the Big Island since there are so many eateries. I will begin with South Kohala or Waikoloa where most of our top resorts are located.

Best Places to Eat in Big Island Hawaii

Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar

best places treat in big island hawaii

Of course when locals have their favorite restaurant it is best sometimes to make a reservation especially if it is located nearby the hotels. Located in the Queen Shops at Waikoloa, Sansei Seafood Restaurant has the best sushi you will find at affordable prices. 

If it is sushi that you are looking for, don’t need to dine at your resort find a way to get to this restaurant.

Kamuela Provision Company

best places to eat in big island hawaii

Kamuela Provision Company or KPC known to locals is a great steak restaurant. Located in Hilton Waikoloa Resort it is a tram ride or boat ride to the restaurant. If you want great steak along with magnificent sunset this is the place to be. 

Make sure to make reservations during sunset hours. Steak is the main course and Sunset is the dessert. It will make your experience much sweeter.

Hawaiian Style Cafe in Waimea

If you are taking a drive towards Hilo or North Kohala on your stop at Waimea you must have breakfast here. Skip your breakfast buffet at your restaurant stop instead at this whole in the wall cafe in Waimea.

 Trust me the serving size for one plate is like eating a buffet meal. The pancakes are over the top and like many local restaurants, spam is also on the menu and a popular choice.

Tex Drive In

where do locals eat in big island hawaii

Upon finishing up breakfast in Waimea take a drive to Hilo or towards  the Hamakua coast. This drive you will see breath taking views of the valleys, landscape, trees, and waterfalls. It will take you about 3 to 4 hour drive to Hilo. 

Along the way you will find Tex Drive In. This restaurant is known for “malasadas.” All sorts of malasadas with different fillings. Malasadas is Portuguese fried donut coated with granulated sugar. This goes well with coffee. 

Two Ladies Kitchen

best places to eat in big island hawaii

If you happen to make it to Hilo you probably are too stuffed to eat anything. But that is okay, during this last stop I recommend you visiting Two Ladies Kitchen to take back with you to your hotel room. This is a dessert shop where they sell Mochi and Manju confectionary. Mochi is sweet glutinous rice cake. 

The rice is pounded and molded into ball shape. You will find different flavors, my favorite is the Strawberry Mochi. 


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